Drill Bits for Woodworking: A Comprehensive Guide

Drill Bits for Woodworking: A Comprehensive Guide

What are wood drill bits? Aren’t they the same as any other drill bits? The answer here is a resounding no. Different drill bits exist for all types of applications, whether you are working on metal, plastic, ceramic, or wood.

Woodworking requires a wide variety of bits made from various materials, shapes, finishes, etc. Each bit is created for a specific task. Even though many of these bits can be interchanged for numerous applications, understanding each and what jobs they do will help ensure you pick the right one for your next task.

When working with wood, you will come upon various needs for drilling with the required types, sizes, and shapes of holes. Woodworking drill bits are designed to ensure that woodworkers have the best tools to obtain the perfect result.

Drill bit for woodworking drilling hole into wooden surface

Drill Bit Materials

There are a few choices out there for the material drill bits are made out of: carbide-tipped, solid carbide, high-speed steel, and cobalt.

  • Carbide-tipped: These specific bits have carbide tips. While you can use them in some woodworking situations, they are often suited best for concrete and masonry work. These tips are powerful, making them perfect for drilling through tough materials.
  • Solid carbide: Because these are made from solid, strong carbide material, they are ideal for the toughest jobs but have a pretty hefty price tag.
  • Cobalt: Cobalt is used when you need a product that isn’t as expensive as solid carbide but still offers sturdy structural strength.
  • Carbon steel: This is the most common material drill bits are made from. When working with wood, you will probably only ever need these bits.

When choosing the right drill bit for your next job, go for the well-known and respectable brands. Although some may cost a little more, they are more likely to be made from quality material and will perform better and last longer.

The Most Common Types of Drill Bits for Woodworking
Sketch of drill bit set with different tips

Although you can probably find a vast library of drill bits at our local hardware store that claims they are perfect for woodwork, we want to offer you a list of bits that are actually smart decisions.

Here is a list of the most common types of drill bits for woodworking on the market today.

Twist Drill Bits

When working with wood, you will probably need a twist drill bit nine times out of ten, especially if you are tackling DIY projects at home. Twist bits are made from light metal and have a spiral blade that wraps around the shaft.

When you picture drilling a hole into a piece of wood, you probably picture a twist drill bit.

Auger Drill Bits

An auger drill bit has a spiral blade that circles the shaft, which is topped with a sharp tip. This tool digs a hole with the blades while pushing the bit through the wood material.

An auger drill bit creates a clear, clean hole with a hollow center. This eliminates the need to apply excessive pressure when making the hole.

Spade Drill Bits

Spade drill bits sport a unique design with a flat top resembling a boat paddle with a sharp point at the tip. These drill bits are used to create a clean hole in a piece of wood with varying diameters.

A spade drill bit is known for being efficient and fast, creating many holes in a short time frame.

Hole Saw Bits

A hole saw is a bit used to create a large hole in wood. This specific tool is ideal for installing hardware on doors, cabinets, and cupboards.

The sharp edges and the circular shape allow the tool to quickly and effectively make larger holes in even the toughest types of wood.

Brad-Point Drill Bits

The brad point drill bit is simply an enhanced version of your traditional twist bit. However, these bits have a pointed tip that resembles a brad nail. This point helps to locate a central drilling point, allowing the user to use the tool without the bit moving and sliding.

Self-Feed Drill Bits

You only want to use a self-feed drill bit with a power drill. These bits are similar to hole saws but have a spiral design with gaps between the blades. This type of bit is often used in tight spaces and is well-known for the way it removes access debris as it goes.

Step Drill Bits

Step drill bits have a unique design. They are made to create large holes in a multi-step process. The bits resemble rounded pyramids where each layer is a circular blade. The farther you push the bit into a piece of wood, the larger the hole gets.

Step drill bits are a favorite among many woodworkers because they can create multiple-sized holes without taking time to change the bit used.

As previously mentioned, these are not the only woodworking drill bits in the industry. However, they are the most commonly used, and unless you are working in a very specific setting and on a precise application, the options listed above should be all you need.

Final Words

If you are searching for the best drill bit for your upcoming woodworking project, the information above should be all you need to get started. Take the time to go over the list and decide which drill bit can create the perfect outcome for your specific project.


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